Mid-Term Exam Review Sheet

HONR 259C “Fearfully Great Lizards”: Topics in Dinosaur Research
Test I Review
The nature of Science and the nature of research
Major events and figures in the history of dinosaur paleontology:
Baron Georges Cuvier
William Buckland
Gideon & Mary Ann Mantell
Richard Owen
Joseph Leidy
Edward Drinker Cope vs. Othniel Charles Marsh
Henry Fairfield Osborn John Ostrom
Rock Types, esp. Sedimentary Rocks:
Igneous vs. Metamorphic vs. Sedimentary
Environments of deposition of sedimentary rocks: how are they reflected in sedimentary structures?
Process of fossilization; taphonomy
Basics of Stratigraphy:
Principles of Original Horizontality, Superposition, Cross-Cutting Relationships, Fossil Succession
Relative vs. Numerical Ages
Index fossils and correlation
Radiometric dating
The Geologic Column: Eras, Periods, Epochs (know the periods & epochs of the Mesozoic)
Evolution = Descent with Modification
Natural Selection = Differential Survival and Reproduction of Variants in a Population Resulting in a Net Change in
Phenotype of the Descendants
Basic observations of Natural Selection:
Variation in all populations (Variability)
Some (but not all) variation is inherited (Heritability)
More are born in a population than can possibly survive (Superfecundity)
Homology, Analogy, Divergence, Convergence, Adaptive Trends, Adaptive Radiations, Exaptation, Heterochrony
(Pedomorphosis vs. Peramorphosis)
Linnaean taxonomy & proper taxonomic grammar
Genus species
Principle of priority
Lumping vs. Splitting
Systematics: Be able to read and understand a cladogram!
Phylogenetic definitions of taxa
Symplesiomorphy, synapomorphy, autapomorphy, homoplasy (convergence & reversals)
Monophyly vs. Paraphyly
Inferring missing data
Extant Phylogenetic Bracket (Type I inference: both EPB have same state that you infer for the fossil; Type
II inference: one has one state, one has the other; Type III: neither EPB has same state that you infer
for the fossil)
Dinosaur Origins
Where do dinosaurs fit among the amniotes?
What is the definition of Dinosauria? (the concestor of Iguanodon and Megalosaurus and all of its descendants)
Significance of Eoraptor, Pisanosaurus, Scutellosaurus, Saturnalia, Herrerasaurus
Dinosaur Phylogeny
Be familiar with the relationships and some of the main adaptations (I’ve listed some) and habits (diet, postulated
behavior, distribution in time and space, etc.) of the major dinosaur clades listed below:
Dinosauria: Perforated acetabulum; asymmetrical hand; semi-opposable manual digit I
Ornithischia: Predentary bone; leaf –shaped teeth; backwards-pointing pubis (except for Pisanosaurus); cheeks in
most forms
Heterodontosauridae: Deep, powerful skulls; predentary margin ventral to maxillary margin; jaw joint ventral
to dentary tooth row
Thyreophora: Scutes; obligate quadrupedality (except for Scutellosaurus)
Stegosauria: Plates and spikes; thagomizer
Ankylosauria: Osteoderms fused to skull; rings of body armor on neck; wide hips
Neornithischia: Enamel on only one side of teeth
Ornithopoda: Predentary margin ventral to maxillary margin; jaw joint ventral to dentary tooth row
Iguanodontia: Facultative bipeds; toothless premaxilla
Hadrosauriformes: Hinged upper jaw; “Swiss Army Hand” (spike thumb; hoof-like digits II-IV;
opposable digit V)
Hadrosauridae: Enlarged snout; grinding dental battery; loss of thumb
Hadrosaurinae: Very large nares; broad snout
Lambeosaurinae: Hollow narial crest
Marginocephalia: Ridge on back of skull
Pachycephalosauria: Thickened skull roof (sometimes domed)
Ceratopsia: Rostral bone; pointed jugals
Neoceratopsia: Enlarged skull; frill; obligate quadrupedality
Ceratopsidae: Horns (postorbital and nose); shearing dental battery
Saurischia: Complex chambers in vertebrae
Herrerasauria: ?Reversal to 2 sacrals; intramandibular joint
Eusaurischia: Elongated neck; digit II longest in hand; big thumb claw
Among the eusaurischians:
Sauropodomorpha: Leaf-shaped teeth, very elongated neck, small head, elongate femur
“Prosauropods” (life habits: no shared derived characters, since they are paraphyletic!!)
Sauropoda: Enormous size; tooth occlusion; obligate quadrupedality; short snouts
Neosauropoda: Dorsally-placed nares; columnar metacarpals
Diplodocoidea: Forelimbs much shorter than hindlimb; pencil-shaped teeth
Macronaria: Greatly enlarged nares (as big or bigger than orbits); elongated metacarpals
Theropoda: Promaxillary fenestra; Intramandibular joint; loss of manual digit V; furcula; functionally three-toed
Coelophysoidea: Subnarial gap
Neotheropoda: Lacrimal fenestra
Ceratosauria: 7 or more sacrals; reduced manual phalanges
Tetanurae: Enlarged hands; stiffened tail
Spinosauridae: Elongate narrow snouts; conical teeth; giant size
Avetheropoda: Maxillary fenestra; very complex chambers in vertebrae; loss of manual digit IV
Carnosauria: Enlarged naris; extra openings in antorbital region; giant size
Coelurosauria: Simply downy feathers; enlarged brain; narrow hand; boat-shaped
Tyrannosauroidea: Incisor-like premaxillary teeth; fused nasals
Tyrannosauridae: Enlarged skull; thickened teeth; reduced arms; loss of
manual digit III; elongate tibiae and metatarsi; arctometatarsus; giant size
Ornithomimosauria: Small beaky skull; elongate neck; all three metacarpals the
same length
Ornithomimidae: Toothless skull; elongate tibiae and metatarsi;
Maniraptora: Elongate forelimb; enlarged ossified sternum; laterally-facing shoulder
joints; semilunate carpal; backwards-pointing pubis; broad feathers on arms and tail
Oviraptorosauria: Leaf-shaped teeth or toothless; boxy skull
Therizinosauroidea: Small skull; leaf-shaped teeth; long neck; backwardspointing pubis; short metatarsi
Eumaniraptora: VERY long arms, tail very mobile near base; distally-placed
backwards-facing pedal digit I; backwards-facing pubis; long leg feathers
Deinonychosauria: retractable second pedal digit with sickle-shaped
Avialae: Elongate arms; Reduced number of caudals (and shorter tail)
Pygostylia: Pygostyle
From the Small Groups/Critical Reviews
What kind of evidence is used to infer what dinosaurs ate what? What limitations exist for these methods?
How do paleontologists employ trace fossils? What kind of information can trace fossils reveal that body fossils do